Coalition of property owners claims that rent control policies a threat to affordable housing
The SHAPE Illinois Coalition held a press conference Wednesday to encourage lawmakers to keep rent control out of the state.
Michael Mini, the executive vice president of Chicagoland Apartment Association, said SHAPE Illinois was formed to demonstrate why rent control policies can be problematic. Mini said that SHAPE Illinois opposes three bills that want to bring rent control back to Illinois: House Bills 255, 2192 and 3207.
"We differ significantly on how we view artificial caps on rents," Mini said. "My caution is this: Rent control policies have proven to exacerbate problems. They work against the affordable-housing objective and ultimately lead to a shortage of quality affordable housing."
Mini said as a coalition, SHAPE Illinois supports several legislative efforts, including House Bill 2168, which proposes property-tax relief for apartment owners who build new units or rehabilitate existing units and agree to keep rent affordable.
"We support funding affordable housing in a capital bill and we support a proposal to double the $9 surcharge on county recording fees," Mini said. "Senate Bill 2092 allocates resources from the increased surcharge and will help with other programs across the state."
Paul Arena, the director of legislative affairs with the Illinois Rental Property Owners Association, said rent control has a detrimental effect. Arena said he encouraged the General Assembly to oppose rent control.
Mike Glasser, the president of Neighborhood Building Owners Alliance, said achieving rent is a negotiation between parties.
"It's the most equitable and fair way to achieve value," Glasser said. "New York has a program to renovate unused basement space to make more spaces. Rent control is not the solution. We need to focus on the solution that can address the need."
Frank Bowman, the executive director at Illinois Manufactured Housing Association, said housing affordability is a nationwide problem.